Tunisian PM calls for wage donations to fight terrorism

Tunisian PM calls civil servants and public to donate day’s wages to anti-terrorism fund

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Tunisian mourners burry the coffins of some of the victims who died two days earlier in a militant attack, during their funeral in Ben Guerdane near the Libyan border, March 9, 2016

Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid called on Saturday for civil servants and the general public to donate part of their wages to an anti-terrorism fund, following a deadly assault on a town near the Libyan border.

Essid "invited members of government and high-ranking state officials to donate a day's work to the 'Fund for the Fight against Terrorism'," in a government statement.

The prime minister "also called on civil servants, the state's agents and citizens to take part in the initiative to support the national effort in the fight against the plague of terrorism."

The statement came after President Beji Caid Essebsi donated a month's salary to the fund at a post office in central Tunis, in what his office described as "a symbolic gesture to support security and military institutions".

The president called on "all Tunisians in and outside the country to support the state's efforts in its fight against terrorism."

On Monday, militants launched a wave of attacks on army and police posts in the southeastern town of Ben Guerdane near the border with Libya.

The assault and ensuing clashes around the town have killed 49 militants, 13 members of the security forces and seven civilians.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the attacks, but the authorities have blamed them on DAESH present in neighbouring Libya.

Last year, DAESH claimed three bomb and shooting attacks in Tunisia, killing dozens of foreign tourists and presidential guards.